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Don Plumley's Avatar
 
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Discouraged - now have to rebuild caliper

After deciding not to replace the ball joint yet, I quickly finished up the rotor replacement, bearing repack, flex line and new pads. I then moved on to the other side. It sure is easier and faster to do the second of anything.

As I pulled the pads off the caliper, I looked in to see a torn seal. Arghhhhhh. I did not plan on rebuilding the caliper (and I've never done it before). So I soaked it in brake cleaner, which started to eat at my caliper paint. Next hour spent brushing off red paint. I guess I'll have one silver shoe, 3 red ones.

The first caliper looked "okay" - but I'm guessing with one caliper going, the other is not far behind. Any big issues with doing one caliper rebuild this month, the other another month or so from now? It won't get driven much...

Sorry - I'm just a little discouraged tonight. I was 30 minutes from bleeding brakes and now I'm X hours from rebuilding a caliper. Bleah.

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Don Plumley
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Old 01-02-2004, 05:25 PM
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I would do them in pairs only. Brakes are too important to muck about with. The rebuild is pretty straight forward (with 101 projects book) and the kits are cheap.
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Old 01-02-2004, 05:26 PM
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Sorry your paint came off. What kind of 'brake cleaner' did you use? The only stuff I know is a very fast evaporating spray. And it eats spray paint readily, but not powder coat.

Other cleaners may contaminate your caliper. Make sure you flush it super clean with alcohol before reassembly. If all was well, you might have been able to put a new dust seal on there w/o doing anything else.

You still have to buy a rebuild kit to get one, me thinks.
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Old 01-02-2004, 06:10 PM
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Rebuild kits are cheap. $12.00-$15.00 and you will have to bleed the system when you are done so do both of them. Why bleed them twice? You can pick up some caliper paint ($8.00) and paint them and all will be well again.
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Old 01-02-2004, 06:41 PM
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Is it actually the caliper seal thats torn, or just the dust seal?
Old 01-02-2004, 07:00 PM
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if they're not leaking, and the piston moves freely, just hang a new dust seal on there and don't worry about it. put the seal on first, and then work the steel ring down around it.
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Old 01-02-2004, 07:05 PM
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Inspect your piston for rust and pitting. The rebuild is easy. Don't be alarmed at the initial soft pedal....it will come back.

Good luck!

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Old 01-02-2004, 08:35 PM
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Thanks for the encouragement. After a couple of glasses of red stuff I'm in a better frame of mind anyway.

I used the good high temp caliper paint. But the aerosol brake cleaner put a few holes in the paint, so I felt compelled to help it along the away.

Based upon what John said, perhaps I could have gotten by with just the seal (they were not leaking) and that's definitely what I'll do with the other side.

So here's the big question - after soaking the caliper in brake cleaner/degreaser/thinner and brushing the snot out of it, do I go ahead and push out the pistons and rebuild - or just put in new seals? I think I can still press the piston and push out fresh fluid.

Thanks gang,

DJP
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Old 01-02-2004, 09:37 PM
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My 89 calipers routinely fried the caliper seals. I would replace them at least twice a season. One reason I went to 930 calipers, (no external seals).
Old 01-03-2004, 04:03 AM
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Rebuild them, since you already started soaking the caliper in break cleaner. You will only contaminate the brake fluid with the left over cleaner in the caliper. The o-ring seal for the piston could have also pickup some of the brake cleaner.

If you have access to compress air and a blow gun with a rubber tip you can use compress air to push the pistons out. Just be careful because they will pop out. I normally cover the caliper with a rag to prevent any brake fluid from flying all over the place with the compress air.

Old 01-03-2004, 04:32 AM
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